Toddler Tools: Little Ones Can Help Around the House
Your little toddler is just dying to start to do things “by myself.” And as much as you would love to encourage creativity and independence, you do it with a degree of trepidation. After all, toddlers make many more messes than they clean up. If you think practically about how you can make your little one’s day easier, you can help them to do things for themselves and hopefully reduce frustration at the same time.
Some months ago, you may have gone through your whole house to baby-proof cupboards and drawers. And boy, are you glad you did, as you see your toddler methodically try to open each one. But now you should allow access to some of them. Toddlers are very curious. You still need to lock up the knives and cleansers. But perhaps you can leave the cupboard full of pots and pans, so your tyke doesn’t feel totally restricted.
This is a great opportunity to take a break. Designate a cupboard or drawer full of healthy snacks that your toddler can access at any time. Do the same in the fridge. And for those messes that happen so frequently, make washcloths easily accessible. Then, your child can learn to clean up just as you do. At this age, they’re so disappointed in their own failings and so eager to please that they’ll often help you clean up with joy.
Just Like Mom
You may be a little short of the “mine!” stage, but it’s on the way. Meantime, your toddler wants everything that you have. Mom toys are way cooler than baby toys. So take it a step further, and create kits your toddler can use that are like the things you have. For example, take a bucket and fill it with a small scrub brush, a microfiber towel and a spray bottle full of water. Your little one can follow you around and help you clean.
Toddlers are a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. Start teaching them how to help now and you will reap the benefits later.